Friday, May 23, 2014

Quakes, The Final Frontier ...

Here is something a wee bit odd for a Friday, someone asked me if there were quakes on Mars, would they be called Marsquakes? An interesting question! This led me to find the following article: 
So the moon gets Moonquakes!  

Now how do we know this? The same way GeoNet knows about quakes here in NZ, seismometers! 

Between 1969-1972 four seismometers were placed, by Apollo astronauts, at their landing sites around the moon. The data was radioed to earth until they were switched off in '77.

This data is still being looked at today, and using improved technology, now available, the data is increasing our knowledge of the moons core. 

Here's a pic of Buzz Aldrin deploying a seismometer on the moon! (NASA) 

 Now back to Mars ....

A seismometer was installed by one of the Viking landing probes in the '70s. Now it's a tad windy on the surface so the data has been noisy and no clear quake data has been obtained.

In 2016 there is a new Mars lander launch planned and this (as well as some other fancy toys) includes another seismometer. The InSight has equipment that will drill down so sensors will be placed away from the surface noise and will hopefully give clearer readings. Much like our borehole instruments in the Auckland CBD. 

And yes they will be called 'MarsQuakes'

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